Author Janie Lancaster Moves to Menifee, Writes a New Book, And Is Aiming to Help Change the World

When attending a book signing you expect to meet an author, review the featured book, and walk away ...

When attending a book signing you expect to meet an author, review the featured book, and walk away with a signed copy. Which is the precise situation I too anticipated as I made my way to the Sun City Library for Janie Lancaster’s signing of her most recent picture book entitled Edwina Beena's Polka Dot Day.

What I had not expected was the incredible woman I was about to meet. Equal parts author and living saint this woman not only writes thought provoking prose, she’s also on a mission to help change the lives of as many people as she can possibly reach.

Her story is deep and complex. It doesn’t start out all polka dots and book signings. In fact this very signing could easily have passed for the preview to a thriller movie. One in which the protagonist witnesses murder, endures abuse, and survives to write about it. But it’s not a movie, it’s Janie’s life.

In experiencing a succession of innumerable cruelties and living to talk and write about it, she has begun to use her story to help other victims. After eight years of research she has reached a place of understanding, of knowing what it takes to keep going when you don’t feel like living anymore. She displays her own vulnerability in a heartfelt effort to bring renewed hope to those who have lost their way.

To say she had a traumatic childhood would be a gross understatement, howevever Janie dealt with her past through writing, what turned out to be, a fictional autobiography entitled Julie and The Lost Fairy Tale. In doing so she recognized the healing power of expressing your emotions through writing and thus began her mission of helping teens through tough times with her next two books including Emily, Out Of My Mother's Darkness and When Silence Reigns, Helping Yourself Through Creative and Therapeutic Writing.

Perhaps the most surprising part of her journey leading to where she stands today, is that she is self published and intends to remain this way. Saying that, “In maintaining control of her work, she has the freedom to help more people and to do so exactly as she envisions.”

Her first success was never recognized by a publisher but rather through a newspaper. The Covington News featured her first novel, Julie and The Lost Fairy Tale, as a serial book, printing one article per week for fifteen weeks. Newspapers In Education, a organization aimed at integrating printed newspapers into the teaching curriculum as a classroom tool, immediately supported the serial book and has spurred Janie’s success to where it is today.

Being published in over fifty newspapers nationwide including New Jersey's state wide publication, The Union Tribune, she says she is just getting started. She has recently made her work available via iBooks to the general public. And continues to work with teachers to create lesson plans that go along with each of her books so they can be used educationally in the classroom.

The main mission behind her most recent book, Edwina Beena's Polka Dot Day, is to reach chronically ill children by giving them not just a book but an experience. Together Janie and her husband personally gift wrap the books in polka dot paper and then package them with a magnifying glass, stickers, and other little goodies aimed at putting a smile on every child’s face. These books are then generously gifted to children’s hospitals and foster children around the area.

While the project is still in its infancy, she has big plans to distribute her book of hope nationwide. With big dreams, and an amazingly compassionate heart Janie is using her writing talents to bring happiness to the world one child at a time.

As I left the library, signed book in hand, I felt touched by her story and even more so by her mission. This woman is a symbol of perseverance and truly an inspiration to know.

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